The number one topic that we talk with parents about who enroll their kids in our children’s safety courses is, at what age can my child stay at home alone and what do they need to know in order to be able to stay at home alone safely? So we have created a quick check list for you as the parent to go through to make sure that you have prepared your child, your home and fulfilled your parental duties to make sure this milestone in your child’s life goes smoothly and safely.
What age is appropriate to leave your child at home alone?
Every state, province and country has different guidelines regarding staying at home alone. It is important for you to look into the guidelines provided to you by the area that you live in, to see if it is OK for your child to be able to stay at home alone. Please keep in mind that every child is different and matures at a different rate, so you will need to keep this in mind despite what any law tells you.
13 things that your child should know, to be able to start staying at home alone
Here is a list for you as the parent that can help to teach and make sure your child will be safe when at home alone.
- How responsible is your child? Every child matures at a different rate, so you want to make sure that your child is mature and responsible enough to handle the responsibility of staying at home alone as well as handling an emergency appropriately.
- Does your child know what to do if an emergency occurs?
- Does your child have basic first aid skills that they can preform on their own body if they became injured until help arrived?
- Does your child know what to do if they choke while they are at home alone?
- Does your child know how to call for help?
- Does your child know how to follow your fire safety plan?
- Does your child know how to work your home alarm system if you have one?
- Does your child know how to turn off the home utilities?
- Does your child know what to do if they power goes out?
- Does your child know what appliances they are allowed to use and can they use them safely?
- Does your child know what to do if the phone rings?
- Does your child know what to do if someone comes to the door?
- Does your child know what they can and cannot do while on technology and social media when alone?
This list features the main topics needed to start staying at home alone safely. However, there are many more areas that can be touched on. We have an amazing course called The Home Alone Course with First Aid that teaches children all they need to know to stay at home alone, confidently and safely.
10 things that you as a parent need to do or prepare in your home before you leave your child at home alone
- Post an emergency phone list.
- Make sure that all of the doors and windows are locked while your child will be at home alone.
- Does your child know how to use your home security system if you have one?
- Remove or safely store in a locked area, dangerous items such as: guns, knives, hand tools, power tools, razor blades or any other dangerous items you may have in your home.
- Safely store all poisonous items in your home such as: dangerous home cleaning products, chemicals, pesticides or any other items that are poisonous or dangerous to a child.
- Safely store in a secure area any medicines or other dangerous medical items that a child will not need while at home alone.
- Provide a first aid kit for your child to be able to use if an emergency occurs.
- Speak with your child about not talking about being at home alone on social media sites. Kids should not be sharing their location of where they are on the internet or social media sites. We have a course called: Stranger Danger; Internet Safety & Bullying 101 that addresses dangerous topics related to strangers and internet safety, that your child can take to help them to learn more about this topic.
- Make sure your child has a way to call you on the telephone or for help when they are at home alone. Make sure that this phone is charged to full capacity before you leave them alone. It is preferred that there is also a home phone for your child to have access to in case they lose or can’t find their phone or the phone does not work for them.
- Call your child several times while you are away to make sure that they are safe.
We hope that these lists are helpful to you. Please reach out to us if you have any other questions regarding staying at home alone. It is better to be safe than sorry 🙂